The Chirp

HSV Newsletter - Summer 2017                                      Kathy Jurek, Editor


To all fellow HSV Audubon Members,

Welcome to the Summer of 2017. The years are flying by. Many of us are on the road during the Arkansas summer months, visiting friends and relatives, in order to escape the hot and humid weather in the Village. Birding, being our hobby, isn’t much fun here in the heat, plus the chiggers. Yuck. 

So pack up your birding I.D. books and your binoculars and take them with you on your journey. See how many birds you can find that aren’t in our area currently. Those Juncos and Red -breasted Nuthatches are smart, you will find them up North building their nests. There are so many spots to find birds, the local parks, the wild life refuges, and the sea shore, each offering a variety of species. 

I have a little job for you to do while out there birding. See if you can find an IBA sign. What is that? IBA stands for Important Bird Area.  Audubon, along with other organizations, began this program in the 1990’s. It is a global effort that identifies and protects habitat that will protect sustainable populations of birds. The groups work together to implement conservation solutions. Arkansas initiated a program in 2001. There are currently 33 IBA located in all regions of the state. If you would like more information, google Audubon, IBA.

I first saw an IBA sign when our son took us to Montrose Harbor on Lake Michigan in Chicago. He pointed the sign out to us and thought it was funny, wondering what that important bird was! He even took a picture of us standing by the sign. Being the Google person I am, I had to find out what that sign was all about. I found it very interesting.

Should you come across any of the signs over the summer, take a picture, tell the location, and send it on to me at dscondon@juno.comI will share with our members. Enjoy your summer and have safe journeys, wherever they may take you. 

Good Birding,

Diane Condon
President, HSV Audubon



Upon retiring and moving to Hot Springs Village, with his wife Carolyn, Les became interested in birding, among other things, and joined HSV Audubon in 1994. It didn’t take long before he was actively involved and became chairman of the Bluebird Monitoring Committee in 1999, a position he held until 2014. 

Les helped this program grow to 300 nest boxes on 9 golf courses, Coronado Center and Woodlands/Grove park area, managed by 40 volunteer monitors. Early in the season Les would ensure that all nest boxes were in good condition, making repairs/replacements as necessary in preparation for the nesting season. During the summer months he would touch base with the monitors, checking on progress. At season end Les gathered all the data from the monitors, and compiled that into an annual report for the membership.

In 2008 Les was presented with an unusual problem, an extraordinarily high number of baby bluebird deaths. He conducted extensive research working with Arkansas Game and Fish and The Wildlife Lab in Wisconsin. Over the course of two years it was determined that Buffalo Gnats were causing the deaths and that using pure vanilla around the nest boxes would eliminate the problem.

Thanks in a very large part to Les Daniels, HSV Audubon has a very successful Bluebird Monitoring Program.

For his years of membership, service and dedication, HSV Audubon has placed this plaque at the Grove Park Bluebird trail in his memory. Please stop by, take a moment to enjoy the trail and remember Les.


Our bluebird population is busy, busy, busy at this time of year. Lots of laying, hatching and fledging going on. Just a reminder to stay vigilant with the vanilla, either spraying or using on cotton balls. Hopefully, by September, (definitely October) we will be able to provide the statistics for the 2017 season.


September (tentatively) a trip to see lots of hummingbirds with Tana Beasley at the Potlatch Conservation Education Center, Cook’s Lake. Tana is the only person trained and certified to band hummingbirds in AR.


September 8th – After taking a summer hiatus our first speaker/presenter will be Rodney Paul. Rodney has always been a good draw brining raptors and whatever birds of prey that are rehabbing or recovering at his facility that are able to travel.

October 13th – Wildbirds Unlimited

November 10th – Tim Ernst

Bird Seed Sale – Keep in mind this is our main money maker to support campers. Sale starts in September.  Pickup will be in October. 


It is a pleasure to announce the following students, representing their schools, some of whom have achieved the coveted goal... to be invited back to the camp the following year. Congratulations to each of them, especially the two young ladies who will be attending the Arkansas Audubon Society Johnson Advanced Ecology Camp at Mount Eagle, July 2-9th. They are; Bailey Helton from Fountain Lake and Bayley Brown from Mountain Pine. They are the “crème de la crème,” or the “cream of the crop.” The reason this is such an honor is that in order to get invited to the advanced camp, one must have been a first year camper (1 of 50), a senior camper (1 of 14) and then 1 of 6 to be invited to the advanced camp. Way to go girls!

Attending camp as “grand old seniors” or second year campers will be: Ben Combs and Katie Osborn from Jessieville and Brooke Miser from Mountain Pine. The eager junior or first year students are: Kiley Branch and Stephanie Thurman from Fountain Lake; Danielle George and John Canaan Taylor from Jessieville; and Olivia Smith and Skylar Rucker from Mountain Pine. The juniors and seniors will be at Camp Clearfork, about 20 miles west of Hot Springs off of 270 west. Anyone desiring to learn more about the camp and why we spend our hard earned money here, can attend their graduation ceremonies. First session is on a Friday, June 16th; second session, Friday, June 23rd. Or check out the ecology camp site on the web; We honor these campers at our July Potluck Dinner Meeting, July 14th, with Teri LaBove and Andrea Mueller in charge.

Now to give special thanks to everyone who donated to the camp, bought bird seed, feeders or houses, thank you! Wayne Krone who manages the bird seed sales and to Adolph Juarez who builds and installs the feeders and houses, a great big thank you! Our President, Diane Condon, and her board who authorizes the scholarships and believes in investing our money in educating our young people to appreciate and learn how to protect our environment, THANK YOU. Lastly to Maury and Barbara Baker, the dynamic duo, thank you for funding our 11th camper this year. Without all of you, it would not be possible.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call either Teri at 915-9101 or Josie at 922-3398.

Audubon Potluck Dinner

Friday - July 14, 2017
THA Community Center in Valencia Courts
Set up 5:15. Dinner @ 6 pm
Contact ANDREA Mueller @ 915-8110
Teri LaBove @ 984-1384 or email
Let us know: entree, veggie, salad or dessert
Or if you can help set up or clean up
Our guests will be the Ecology campers & their families

(these are puns based on songs by the Byrds)

Cover of a 1965 Supremes hit, “Back in My __________”
Cover of a jazzy 1970 Van Morrison hit, “_____ Dance”
Cover of a 1978 Gloria Gaynor disco hit, “____ Survive”
One of their own hits from 1965, “T____ T_____ T_____

Partmigan, Loon, Owl, Tern, Tern, Tern

The Chirp

HSV Newsletter - Spring 2017                                      Kathy Jurek, Editor


Greetings from your new President, formerly known as bird seed lady. I miss the chats we had when you would drive up to get your seed year after year. Please stop by at a meeting to say hi. 

We are some of the luckiest people around to have a love for birds and be members of an active Audubon Society right here in the Village.  Birding is a hobby that increases our knowledge and gives us exercise at the same time, well not if we are just looking out a window, but if we are out on a trail walking you will get the exercise part. In either case, getting a new bird for your Life List is a special joy!

There is no better time of year to find one of these new birds than spring. The migrating birds will be coming through soon and they will be dressed in full mating color, with sparrows and warblers that is a real blessing! Being that most of us are novice birders, our Audubon Society has compiled a list of birds that have been seen in the Village over the years. This helps limit the bird you are looking at and give you a quicker ID. But remember these little guys may do a surprise first time appearance in the Village. So, if you see a new one, get a picture if at all possible, and report the sighting to Vic, our birding guru. 

These Village bird lists are available at the side tables as you enter our meetings. There are also state lists available at our meeting in case you are birding outside the Village. There is also a good website out there for Arkansas birds. It is ARBirds-L. Here you can ask questions and see what birds other people are reporting. It is a free site, with lots of interesting information, but you must subscribe.

Get those feeders filled and bring in those hungry birds. Happy Birding and let me know what you see!

Diane Condon
President, HSV Audubon


By an “Old Coot” aka Josie Farrell

It might be interesting to some new members and some not so new members to take a stroll down “memory lane” to learn about the HSV Audubon Society, back in the olden days, circa 1983.

For meetings there was a Telephone or Calling Committee to remind members about the meetings, which were held in the Coronado Center, not the auditorium, but in one of the small side rooms, and it was not crowded. Although few in number, they had a common interest to learn about their new environment, Arkansas, and to share their unique talents. Leading the group in birding skills was an exceptional woman, Helen Pfeifer, who took over the bird identification task, and the Christmas Bird Count, besides writing articles on birds for the village paper. She was a tough task master with very high standards. For example: this “old coot”, fresh from Ohio, was attending her first meeting in November of 1983, which had to do with the Christmas Bird Count. She was eager to get involved, to learn about birds in the south. But Helen did not want amateurs in the field and made it very plain. Clint Sowards immediately suggested that his wife, Frances, would welcome company as a feeder watcher.

At that time, before the advent of the Smart Phone with instant pictures taken from your window, these pioneers devised a bird blind for photographing the birds without being seen. It was a wooden structure, located below the DeSoto Dam Spillway. To get there, one drove along Toledo, past the recycling center, parked and hiked, to the left, into the woods. Feeders for both seed and suet were placed in front of the blind, to draw the birds. They had to be filled daily. Doug Barnes was in charge of this project, and quite a project it was. One signed up to make the suet mix when it got low, and to fill the seed feeders. The bird seed was stored on site, in large galvanized containers, with chains to hold down the lids. You guessed it, the other duty was to repair the damage from the night before. Despite the work involved, it was a great way to study the birds from inside the blind, as well as for avid photographers to set up their tripods, unseen, and click away. This labor intensive project did not have a long “shelf“ life.

A little bit further along the right side of Toledo, was located the first “nature” trail in the village. This trail was a tribute to wild flowers, and was a product of Lucille Christian's efforts and knowledge. As a botanist, she identified and cataloged all of the wild flowers in that area. She was known as the “plant” lady, who favored native plants. This “old coot” remembers receiving one of her native plants, a Beauty Berry Bush, which she treasures today. Native plants are very hardy, and don't have to be pampered to prosper.

Since we are still on Toledo, let us talk about the original recycling center mentioned earlier. Up to 1990, there was no recycling in the village. The environmentally conscious villagers wanted and got their first recycling center on Toledo. Bob Venuti was in charge of this volunteer effort. Dottie Stewart was in charge of recruiting and scheduling. She did this by asking for volunteers from the numerous clubs. This “old coot” worked every Saturday A.M., taking cardboard, newspaper, tin and aluminum cans and glass, (yes, at that time they took glass but not plastic!). Also volunteering that shift was Ned Wilson, a Pediatrician in his former life, he was concerned about landfills and their impact on the environment. Naturally he was a fan of recycling. He later became president of HSV Audubon Society, supported by his wife, Martha. Martha is still an active member today. In conclusion, in looking at the recycling history, something is wrong with the picture. We have gone from no recycling; to a central spot with volunteers (1990 to 1996) to curb side service until 2010, to again a manned center until 2013, to no recycling service. Hmmm. 



At the time Hot Springs Village was first being developed the Eastern Bluebird was on the endangered species list. When the Village was just four years old a group of residents formed our HSV Audubon Chapter, dedicated to preserving bluebirds and making the village a bird sanctuary. Our first bluebird trail was around the DeSoto Golf Course and monitoring started. Since then we have established trails around all the village golf courses, the Coronado Center and the Woodlands/Pine Grove complex monitoring 300 plus boxes by dedicated volunteers. Because of our program and others like it across the country. The Eastern Bluebird is no longer considered endangered. We still keep tabs on our bluebird population, but welcome a variety of birds to our bluebird trail.

This year we have a need for several back-up monitors. Monitoring is a very rewarding experience. It isn’t very time consuming, only lasts from mid-April through the end of August and gets you involved with nature. If you think you may be interested, or if you just want to see what it’s all about contact Kathy Jurek (915-9344) and a trial walk through can be arranged. A bluebird monitors meeting will be held at 9:30am, prior to the March 10th Audubon meeting.


We have a fun and educational assortment of programs planned the first quarter of 2017.

On March 10, Tana Beasley from AR Game and Fish Commission will make a return visit to our organization. Tana has an amazing knowledge on hummingbirds. She will present a new program concerning hummers. 

On April 14, Dan Scheiman, from Audubon Arkansas, will make his annual visit to our organization. Dan is always full of knowledge and enthusiasm. 

On May 12 Sharon and Vic Prislipsky, our very own talented photographers will present Wild Flowers and Other Gifts of Nature.

On June 9 is Theo Witsell, topic to be determined.

Also keep in mind the Bird Identification Classes to be held the first four Tuesdays in March.



March is the time when Teri LaBove and Josie Farrell, our two co-chairs for the ecology camp, roll up their sleeves and offer two “junior” scholarships to the Arkansas Audubon Society Halberg Ecology Camp to each of our three local schools; Mountain Pine Elementary School, Fountain Lake Middle School and Jessieville Middle School. Ever since 1980, the camp has been held at Camp Clearfork, just 20 miles west of Hot Springs off of route 270 West. And ever since 1983, our HSV Audubon Society has been offering, at least one scholarship to a deserving 11 and 12 year olds, to attend the camp in June. How great is that?!

Any 11 and 12 year old, interested in nature, may apply. The cost to a family is $325.00, for five days, Sunday to Friday, sleeping in cabins with counselors at night and by day, learning through hands on experience, all about their natural environment of plants, birds, rocks, insects, etc., and how to preserve them. For fun, there is the lake for swimming and canoeing, or organized land sports like volleyball, baseball, ping pong or other games. This is a wonderful experience for our grandchildren that many of our members can attest to!

This year “our cup runneth over.” In addition to our six junior scholarships, we are blessed to have two Senior campers and two Advanced campers, invited back. It has been our custom to reward these outstanding kids, with another scholarship. Thus this year, we will be sponsoring ten scholarships at $350.00 each, at a total of $3,500.00. You might ask, why $350 instead of $325? Over the years, as the cost of everything went up, the cost per student went up. The cost to the camp is now well over $400.00, per camper. Our original scholarship was for $200.00. By the year 2000, our HSV Board voted to raise our scholarships from $300.00 to $350.00. Most of the families around the village, cannot afford even $325 for one of their children, let alone the extra cost for another pair of shoes, or extra clothing for five days. Some of our campers had never been to a camp before, some did not know how to swim, while others had never been away from home overnight! It has been quite a learning experience for Teri and Josie.

So now dear members, we need your cooperation to spread the word about this extraordinary opportunity for an 11 or 12 year old to have this camp experience. And we need you to buy bird seed, and/or make a donation towards a scholarship, or promote the sale of bird houses or feeders. This camp is providing future environmentalists, who will help preserve what we enjoy today!

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call either Teri at 915-9101 or Josie at 922-3398. 

(as school mascots)

Delaware “Blue____”
Southern Mississippi “Golden ____”
Bowling Green “F____”
Youngstown State “P_____”

Bluehens, Golden Eagles, Falcons, Penguins